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This weekend’s best music in Kansas City: Big Sean, Of Mice & Men, Shelby Lynne and E-40

Big Sean will play Thursday, May 21, at the Midland theater.
Big Sean will play Thursday, May 21, at the Midland theater. NPR

Big Sean

Thursday, May 21, at the Midland theater

The Detroit rapper often resembles the excitable younger sibling of notable collaborators such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, but millions of hip-hop fans prefer Big Sean’s rudimentary rhymes to more eloquent wordplay. With Casey Veggies.

Tickets are $30 in advance through midlandkc.com.

Of Mice & Men

Thursday, May 21, at the Uptown Theater

Many young rock musicians wilt under the grueling rigors of the Warped Tour, but the rugged California metalcore band Of Mice & Men used the taxing annual event as a springboard to stardom. With Crown the Empire and Volumes.

Tickets are $22 in advance through uptowntheater.com.

Shelby Lynne

Friday, May 22, at the Folly Theater

Shelby Lynne has made a lot of wonderful music in a career that began more than 25 years ago, but only lately has she locked into a consistent groove. The supremely soulful country artist is touring in support of the excellent new album, “I Can’t Imagine.”

Tickets range from $30 to $50 in advance through follytheater.org.

Turnpike Troubadours

Saturday, May 23, at Crossroads KC

Is Oklahoma the new Tennessee? Many advocates of the Red Dirt country sound would insist that the Midwestern state is producing truer country music than Nashville. The Turnpike Troubadours are one of Oklahoma’s most notable musical exports. With Jamestown Revival.

Tickets range from $22 to $61.50 in advance through crossroadskc.com.

E-40

Saturday, May 23, at One Percent

One Percent, a nightclub on Grand Avenue that isn’t associated with live performances, will host E-40 on Saturday. The groundbreaking West Coast rapper is likely to touch on his recent collaborations with Tech N9ne and Big Sean in addition to his many solo hits. Stevie Stone is among the opening acts.

Tickets are $40 in advance through brownpapertickets.com/event/1438446.

Westport Roots Festival

Saturday, May 23, in Westport

Dozens of locally based bluegrass, blues and folk musicians will perform on six stages at Saturday’s Westport Roots Festival. Local stalwarts such as the Grand Marquis will be joined by regional acts like Indiana-based singer/songwriter Nick Dittmeier.

Tickets are $20 in advance through westportroots.com.

Kutt Calhoun

Sunday, May 24, at the Riot Room

Kutt Calhoun spent years as Tech N9ne’s inseparable sidekick. No longer on the roster of Strange Music, the streetwise Kansas City rapper will assert his independence at Sunday’s show. Donta Slusha and BG Bulletwound are among the opening acts.

Tickets are $15 in advance through theriotroom.com.

Yelawolf

Tuesday, May 26, at the Granada

“Call me a redneck and I’ll just tattoo it.” Yelawolf taunts his critics repeatedly during “Whiskey in a Bottle,” one of several angry songs on his impressive new album, “Love Story.” The Alabama-born protégé of Eminem combines hip-hop, country and rock. With Hillbilly Casino and DJ Klever.

Tickets are $22 in advance through thegranada.com.

Etana

Wednesday, May 27, at the Bottleneck

Etana is attempting to become the new face of reggae. The stirring songs of the Jamaican native address societal ills and praise love’s mysteries. The charismatic artist may be capable of reclaiming the music from the rock-oriented musicians who currently dominate the reggae scene. With Gonzo.

Tickets are $11 in advance through thebottlenecklive.com.

Surfer Blood

Wednesday, May 27, at the Riot Room

Surfer Blood seems newly energized on the bracing new album, “1000 Palms.” After enduring a rough patch of bad publicity, the surf-influenced indie-rock band from Florida has regained its musical footing. With Alex Calder.

Tickets are $15 in advance through theriotroom.com.

Bill Brownlee, Special to The Kansas City Star

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